something cannot come from nothing on its own

Discussions about the possibility of consciousness, free will, spirits, deities, religions and so on, and how these might interact with time travel, the Big Bang, many worlds and so on.

something cannot come from nothing on its own

Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:57 pm

If there was ever a time that "nothing" existed, then something could not have come from it. So I'm thinking that either the universe, or a creator; God, has always existed.

God, or the universe, could not have created themselves from "nothing", so either has always existed. If both have always existed, then God is in more of an "overseer" role, but it is possible that there is no God.

What is impossible is that there could ever have been a time that neither existed.

Some easily believe that God has always existed, but don't think it's possible that the universe has. To me, either possibility exists.

Any thoughts?
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Postby pat » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:52 pm

In empty space, particle-antiparticle pairs constantly spring up and annihilate each other. This is known as "the quantum foam". Would you attribute each of these creations from nothing to God? or to a willful Universe? or will you allow that something can spontaneously arise from nothing?
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:56 pm

When I say "nothing" I mean "nothing", not even "empty space", nothing at all. Something can't come from that nothing is what I mean. :)
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:53 pm

According to relativity, space and time are so connected that one cannot exist without the other. So, objects in space came as soon as time appeared, and vice versa.

To quote Stephen Hawking in The Universe in a Nutshell:
Saying that there is time before the Big Bang is like telling someone to go South of the South Pole. It simply is not defined.


That's not an exact quote, but that was the gist of what he was saying. The Big Bang was the creation of space, so time must have started there. Time is finite, and there was *nothing* before time.

At the risk of being redundant: God and space were created as soon as time started, and time started as soon as God and space were created.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:02 pm

irockyou wrote:there was *nothing* before time.

So you think its possible that there was truly "nothing", I mean not even empty space, matter, energy or anything else, even God, then, from that absolute nothingness, came the universe in all its infinite complexities?
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:22 pm

The universe didn't start out with complexities, it started out as energy. When the energy was released, the energy was split and it collided with itself at extreme temperatures to create the complexities.

And yes, I believe in a "time" (for lack of a better word) where nothing existed, even time itself. If I'm not mistaken, it was Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose who proved that time had a beginning and an end.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:47 pm

irockyou wrote:The universe didn't start out with complexities, it started out as energy. When the energy was released, the energy was split and it collided with itself at extreme temperatures to create the complexities.

So you don't think there was "nothing", there was "something"; it started out as "energy". I would consider that still the universe, just in an energy state. What I'm saying is that it's impossible that there was an absolute nothingness state, no potential energy, no matter etc., then the universe came from that. The only way the universe came from "nothing" is if there was an ever-existing God to create it but even then there would have had to have been "something", that being God.

At least one of them has always existed in some form, that's my point.
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:49 pm

No, I'm still saying that there was a nothingness state, I'm just saying that when space did eventually start, it was nothing but energy.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:52 pm

irockyou wrote:No, I'm still saying that there was a nothingness state, I'm just saying that when space did eventually start, it was nothing but energy.

So, where did the energy come from if there was "nothing"?
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 pm

You're not reading my posts fully... the energy is created when time begins, because according to relativity, every bit of space has its own timeline.. there fore, time needs an object. So when time starts, the energy is created. This is not my belief, because belief usually implies something that isn't proven... as I said before, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose already mathematically proved this.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:08 pm

irockyou wrote:You're not reading my posts fully... the energy is created when time begins, because according to relativity, every bit of space has its own timeline.. there fore, time needs an object. So when time starts, the energy is created. This is not my belief, because belief usually implies something that isn't proven... as I said before, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose already mathematically proved this.

What part of this has been mathematically proven?

Does it sound logical to you that there was absolutely nothing, then time began for some reason and energy and matter created itself from that nothingness?
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:15 pm

In order for something to exist, it must start at some point. There are two outcomes of this: nothing ever exists, because something cannot come from nothing, or something will eventually exist. Since we all exist, there must have been a way for something to be created from nothing.

The only flaw in this is saying that time didn't start, and that it has always existed. However, relativity clearly states that time cannot exist without matter; and since matter was first created at the Big Bang, then time also must have started at the Big Bang.
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Postby Hugh » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:37 pm

irockyou wrote:In order for something to exist, it must start at some point.

I don't agree with you there. Something could have always existed, that's what I'm saying is actually necessary, because something can't come from nothing.
irockyou wrote:There are two outcomes of this: nothing ever exists, because something cannot come from nothing, or something will eventually exist. Since we all exist, there must have been a way for something to be created from nothing.

Unless of course that something has always existed.
irockyou wrote:The only flaw in this is saying that time didn't start, and that it has always existed. However, relativity clearly states that time cannot exist without matter; and since matter was first created at the Big Bang, then time also must have started at the Big Bang.

Why isn't it possible for time, matter, and energy to have existed before the Big Bang? You're thinking that the universe had to have started at the Big Bang. Isn't it possible that the universe goes through an infinite cycle of Big Bang / Big Crunch? Or could the universe be just part of an ever-existing multiverse? In any case, it couldn't have created itself from nothing. :)
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Postby Nick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:49 pm

Ah, but see, there had to be a first Big Bang to prelude all of the other Big Bangs.

For example: you go back in time and tell yourself not to do something that was a mistake. But you only do that because when you were in the past, someone from the future went back to your present and told you not to make that mistake. You don't know what the outcome was, you just know it would have been bad.

The point of this example is to show that there must have been an original "you" that made the mistake and went back in time to fix it.

That example has flaws, I know, its not perfect. If you don't look too deeply into it, you will see the parts of it that matter.

Hugh wrote:Does it sound logical to you that there was absolutely nothing, then time began for some reason and energy and matter created itself from that nothingness?


Yes, it does sound logical. If there is anything we can learn from Science, let it be that nothing can be infinite. I noticed that you have used God in this thread a lot as well; if a God exists then he had to be created, just like everything else. He can't come from nothing, just like you or I can't come from nothing (according to your logic).

But the fact is that it is more probable for something to be finite then it is to be infinite. In fact, it is infinitely probable because there are an infinte number of numbers between any finite number and infinity.

That seems confusing... if that didn't make sense, I'll try to explain it again :).
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:05 am

irockyou wrote:Ah, but see, there had to be a first Big Bang to prelude all of the other Big Bangs.

Not neccessarily.
irockyou wrote:For example: you go back in time...That example has flaws, I know, its not perfect. If you don't look too deeply into it, you will see the parts of it that matter.

I don't think it applies to this.
irockyou wrote:However, something had to make that nothingness.

That's my point.
irockyou wrote:If there is anything we can learn from Science, let it be that nothing can be infinite.

Really?
irockyou wrote:I noticed that you have used God in this thread a lot as well; if a God exists then he had to be created, just like everything else. He can't come from nothing, just like you or I can't come from nothing (according to your logic).

Obviously if God exists, then God doesn't need to have been created, that's part of being...God. :)

irockyou wrote:But the fact is that it is more probable for something to be finite then it is to be infinite. In fact, it is infinitely probable because there are an infinte number of numbers between any finite number and infinity.

That seems confusing... if that didn't make sense, I'll try to explain it again
:).

Please do. :)
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Postby Nick » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:15 am

Hugh wrote:Please do. Smile

Ughh... ok, here goes it: :|

It is infinitely probable for a number to be finite. Take two finite numbers (x and y), and find the absolute number of their difference (z). You will get that: |x - y| = z. If you had to pick a random number between x and y, then the odds of it being a specific number between x and y is <sup>1</sup>/<sub> z + 1</sub>.

For example, if you pick 1 and 5, then there is a 1/5 that it will be 1, a 1/ 5 chance that it will be 2, etc.

Now, let's say that x is infinity, and y is finite. The difference between x and y will always be infinte, so z will have to be infinity as well. Therefore, the odds of a random number being picked between infinity and a finite number is always 1 in infinity. In conclusion, the odds of the number of infinity being picked is 1/infinity, and since there are an infinite number of numbers, the odds of a finite number being picked is infinity/infinity, or 1.

This means that it is infinitly probable that everything in the universe is finite. :D

Yes, I did make this up on my own, right now... which means I'm either a genius or I messed up.. everywhere :). Please tell me if you find a flaw in this.
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:01 am

irockyou wrote:This means that it is infinitly probable that everything in the universe is finite. :D

So you're saying that the universe is finite, and that it created itself out of absolute nothingness, when time started itself at the Big Bang.

Okay, we're all entitled to our own opinion.
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Postby Nick » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:30 am

Hmmm... I don't think I completely convinced you.

Logic can go on either sides of opinion. One side may say "The big bang isn't true because there can never be nothing, God must've created us" and the other side may say "God must've been created by something, so its just as likely for the Big bang to be true (but then again, the big bang has science behind it)".

Either way, whether the big bang created us, or a God created us, there must've been a time when nothing existed. This time is not really time, because it is undefined. Because time is relative, time is different depending on what part of space your in. But if all parts of space are nothing, then time is all the same: 0. Since it's all the same, then time during the nothing passed by infinitely fast; but still must have existed. Nobody knows how God or energy popped out of nowhere, but guess what? We're here, we exist, so one must be true. I personally take sides with the Big Bang, because I am a follower (and hopefully become a leader) of science. But as you said, anyone is entitled to theif opinion. :D
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:10 am

irockyou wrote:Either way, whether the big bang created us, or a God created us, there must've been a time when nothing existed.

Hmmm... I don't think I completely convinced you either. :D
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Postby moonlord » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:40 am

There can be a single Big Bang - Big Crunch Universe that keeps repeating itself. Now you've got your third option. :D
"God does not play dice." -- Albert Einstein, early 1900's.
"Not only does God play dice, but... he sometimes throws them where we cannot see them." -- Stephen Hawking, late 1900's.
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:17 am

moonlord wrote:There can be a single Big Bang - Big Crunch Universe that keeps repeating itself. Now you've got your third option. :D

For the purposes of this discussion, that's an ever-existing universe too, just going through cycles of bang/crunch.
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Postby Nick » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:01 pm

Hugh wrote:Hmmm... I don't think I completely convinced you either. :D


Try... I want to hear your side too. If you can prove to me that it is more probable for something to have always existed than for something to have finite existence, then I will consider it. I try to keep an open mind :D .
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:15 pm

irockyou wrote:
Hugh wrote:Hmmm... I don't think I completely convinced you either. :D


Try... I want to hear your side too. If you can prove to me that it is more probable for something to have always existed than for something to have finite existence, then I will consider it. I try to keep an open mind :D .

Well, the idea is simply really, that if there is nothing to begin with, then there is nothing there to allow any change to take place.

I'm wondering if you understand what I mean when I say "nothing". It is just that, no space, dimensions, matter, radiation, size, point, idea, shape, vibration, God, time, anything at all. If there ever was that condition existing "everywhere" - which would be "nowhere", then nothing could have started itself from that, especially the universe, or even God.

I do not know how someone can logically believe that anything could create itself from those conditions. That's why I think that "something" must have always existed - and that is either the universe, or God. Each is a possible candidate.
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Postby Nick » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:20 pm

People have been led to believe that something can only happen if something caused it. Logic is whatever makes sense to the person that is saying it, but if that person's knowledge isn't complete, the logic will be warped.

To you, it makes perfect sense that something cannot come from nothing. But if you let go of the idea that something cannot be created without any cause, then it becomes easily possible.

You see, Stephen Hawking already proved that the Big Bang, the one and the only, was the first matter in space. I could explain to you how he proved this, but it his best said in his own words, in The Universe in a Nutshell. The first three chapters provide more than enough detail.

Besides, in my mind, it doesn't make sense that something can always have been, so my logic will be warped away from your theory. The only difference between me and you is that I have Stephen Hawking on my side :wink: .
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Postby Hugh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:36 pm

irockyou wrote:The only difference between me and you is that I have Stephen Hawking on my side :wink: .

Here is a quote from one of Hawking's lectures: "Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them."

and

"Although the laws of science seemed to predict the universe had a beginning, they also seemed to predict that they could not determine how the universe would have begun. This was obviously very unsatisfactory. So there were a number of attempts to get round the conclusion, that there was a singularity of infinite density in the past."

So there was a "singularity of infinite density" to begin the Big Bang in the first place, in other words, something was already existing, the universe in the form of a singularity, an ever-existing universe for the purposes of this discussion.

Find a quote from Hawking that says that absolutely nothing existed before the universe was created. :)
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Postby Nick » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:40 pm

Don't think I've given up, Hugh; I'm rereading The Universe in a Nutshell to see if I can find a quote. :wink:
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Postby Hugh » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:48 pm

Oh, I know you rock, you'll find something good. :)
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Postby houserichichi » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:19 pm

I just started reading this post so you might get a couple responses in a row...but this one caught my eye.

irockyou wrote:It is infinitely probable for a number to be finite. Take two finite numbers (x and y), and find the absolute number of their difference (z). You will get that: |x - y| = z. If you had to pick a random number between x and y, then the odds of it being a specific number between x and y is <sup>1</sup>/<sub> z + 1</sub>.


Assuming you mean ANY number between x and y (ie: a real number) then the probability of any particular one is zero because between any two numbers x and y (real) there exists a continuum of choices. Since 1 divided by the size of the continuum (∞) is zero, the probability of getting any particular number is zero. If, however, you're talking about integers then the probability of getting a number in the range [x,y] would be 1/z.

irockyou wrote:Now, let's say that x is infinity, and y is finite. The difference between x and y will always be infinte, so z will have to be infinity as well.


This is the kind of statement that makes a mathematician cringe. The difference between x and y is undefined so z will have to be undefined as well.

EDIT: I just re-read...you said x if infinite and y is FINITE...so yes, the difference is infinite. However, don't treat "infinity" as a number because there are lots of different infinities...in fact there are infinitely many of them. So many you can't count them...in fact you could say that there are uncountably many infinities.

irockyou wrote:Therefore, the odds of a random number being picked between infinity and a finite number is always 1 in infinity. In conclusion, the odds of the number of infinity being picked is 1/infinity, and since there are an infinite number of numbers, the odds of a finite number being picked is infinity/infinity, or 1.


Gah! I'll assume you're talking integers greater than or equal to n. Odds of 1 in infinity (read: 1/∞) is zero. Your second point literally translates to "the odds of choosing any number will give you a number." The ratio ∞/∞ doesn't make sense in every day arithmetic - it's just like ∞-∞ - they're both undefined.

irockyou wrote:This means that it is infinitly probable that everything in the universe is finite. :D


There's no such thing as infinitely probable. Probability ranges between 0 and 1, with 1 literally translating to "it will happen". If you multiply whatever the probability is by 100 you can say "it's (whatever the number is) percent probable."

irockyou wrote:Yes, I did make this up on my own, right now... which means I'm either a genius or I messed up.. everywhere :). Please tell me if you find a flaw in this.


Hope I didn't sound preachy...just pointing out natural flaws. The reality is we don't deal with infinity often in life so we make assumptions on how it fits into our arithmetic. Infinity is not a number and, as such, is not able to be treated as such. Things like ∞-∞ really don't make sense and, in fact, ∞ doesn't make sense at all...it's a concept, not a constant.

Oh, and if for whatever reason you can't see this symbol: ∞, it's the infinity sign...someone tell me if it doesn't show up.
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Postby Hugh » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:30 pm

It's hard to get anything mathlike past house... :D
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Postby Nick » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:40 pm

irockyou wrote:Yes, I did make this up on my own, right now... which means I'm either a genius or I messed up.. everywhere :). Please tell me if you find a flaw in this.


Hope I didn't sound too conceited saying that :wink:. As for the infinity sign, I can see it.

Apparently, the major flaw in my arithmatic is that infinity isn't a number. Well, that sucks, because now I cannot mathematically prove that something is more likely to be finite than infinite. Damn!

Anyway, I have to say that all this comes down to is logic. Is it more logical that something has existed forever, or that something was created somehow? Both sides of this thread seem illogical to occur, but one has to be true, and I side with the "finite time" one.

Hugh, want me to make a poll, and see what the other forum-goers think :?:.

Oh, and P.S: I found an excellent quote of Stephen Hawkings that directly supports my side; I can't post it now because I'm upstairs, I'm supposed to be doing homework, and the book is downstairs, where my parents are :( . But I'll post it A.S.A.P.
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